SOL Wrestling: SOL D1 Sectional Preview

by Glenn Kaiser

Warminster, PA-The Upper Moreland Golden Bears captured the team title at William Tennent H.S. in the Panther Invitational.  UM (189-points) finished ahead of the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s Methacton (162.5) by 26.5-points in this 16-team individual tournament.  West Chester Rustin was third with 115-points and Cheltenham was fourth with 113-points.  Upper Moreland crowned only one champion in Colin Evanson at 127-pounds with his 12-1 major decision over WC Rustin’s Charlie Emmonds in the championship bout.  Evanson is now 31-4 heading into the start of the individual postseason, UM heads to the toughest of four District One Sections, the D1-Section East, this coming Saturday at Quakertown.  The Golden Bears’ five runners-up enabled them to secure first place overall as Michael Muncer (121), Charlie Hogan (133), Daviat Asrorov (160), John Baker (215) and Thomas Leahy (285) all finished second in their respective weight classes.  Additionally, 145-pounder Jonathon Hester secured bronze with a 2-0 decision over Truman’s Lincoln Goldey.  Four other Golden Bears finished in fourth place.

Upper Moreland won the SOL Freedom Division Individual team title earlier last week at Tennent by 42 points and should be the overall Freedom champs, despite Cheltenham going undefeated in league dual meet action.  The Freedom Individual Championships featured a pooled system which allowed all wrestlers in each weight class to wrestle one another.  Thus, it is still unclear to this writer who will win the outright league title…stay tuned.

Fourteen of the 16 teams at the Panther tourney hailed from District One, and two from the city (D12), Overbrook and Belmont Charter.  Belmont Charter’s 172-pounder Shamere Davenport was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler with his fall in the finals over Cheltenham’s Corey Bradley in the first minute of the first period. Davenport decked Wissahickon’s Nathanael Chez in the semis and finished with 4-pins on the day.

With the regular season complete, it’s time to look at the upcoming District One Sectional tournaments that will advance the top four wrestlers from each weight class to the Southeast Regional Tournament at Souderton on March 3 and 4, 2023.  D1 West at Oxford has no SOL participating schools, the majority of SOL schools will head to D1 East at Q-town, with Souderton wrestling in the D1 North tourney at Perk Valley.  Cheltenham, Hatboro-Horsham, Plymouth-Whitemarsh, Upper Dublin & Wissahickon may have the easiest path to the SE Region as they travel to Interboro in the D1 South tourney.

Here is a preview of the SOL top-guns through-out District One.

D1 EAST @ Quakertown (note all competing teams are from the SOL)

107-pounds:  CR South’s Connor Lenahan (35-8) and Pennridge’s Colby Martinelli (27-5) look to hook up in the finals, Lenahan owns two wins this season over Martinelli, this one will be close, as we all know it is extremely difficult to beat someone three times, and this most likely won’t be the last time these two meet in the post-season.

114:  Pennridge’s Cole Coffin (31-4) is the one to beat here, CB West freshman Chris Dennis (24-3) will challenge him, but don’t forget about CR South’s Luke Reitter (19-2) and an eighth place medalist last year at states.

121:  The host’s Mason Ziegler (35-4) is the top-gun here; he’ll be pushed by two youngsters from Council Rock, South’s Pat Woloshyn (22-13) and North’s Pierce Kane (18-7).  Abington’s Matthew McCaughey has not yet returned to the mats from an early season injury.  There will be others to keep an eye on in this deep weight class including surging frosh Quinn McBride (15-4) from Pennridge.

127:  Eren Sement, CR North is 30-3 on the season and looking to win a state title, Patrick Kelly (25-3) from CB West is looking for his first trip to Hershey.

133:  This weight class is a little more wide-open throughout the SE Region, however, CR South’s Ben Brillhart (28-9) and CB South’s Gabe Whittington (27-4) are the top two in the East.

139:  A stacked weight-class in D1 features CB South’s Jake Neill (30-2) and Pennridge’s Sam Kuhns (27-9), Neill has wins over Kuhn’s this season, the last one in the SOL Colonial final 1-0.  Gavin Carrol from Q-town has only one loss since his return and Bensalem’s Christian Martinez (18-4) will be another to consider here for a spot at regionals.

145:  Quakertown’s undefeated (38-0) Colin Gaj is on a mission to win a state title.  Challengers include Beknazar Baiyshbekov (Neshaminy/27-3), Luke Wilson (CB East/25-11) and Bensalem’s Danny Grace (11-5).  Michael Cliver has been missing from North Penn’s lineup all season due to injury.

152:  Gavin Cole (CRS/28-13) and Q-town’s Zach Borzio (33-8) should hook up in the finals here, but don’t count out Neshaminy’s Dan Hansbury (22-5). 

160:  Bekhruz Sadriddinov, CRS at 34-7 is the #1 ranked wrestler (by here in the SE Region.  Shane McGurrin, Pennsbury (24-2) may meet up again here in the finals, Bek has beat McGurrin twice this season.  Emazar Baiyshbekov, Neshaminy (25-6) and Ryan Gallagher, Pennridge (11-4) will also be looking to advance.

172:  Pennridge’s Talan Hogan (30-8) has 30 wins this season in his sophomore campaign and will be looking to book a room in Hershey this year.  Mason Keller, Pennsbury (25-3), as a senior, will look to win a District One crown here in the East.

189:  Pennsbury is loaded in the upper weight classes, and Walker Murray (29-3) stands here.  Freshman Ryan Rowe, Pennridge (23-11) will challenge Murray, along with Sean Hazlett (William Tennent/21-7), who will have to turn it up a notch to advance to regionals.

215:  Quakertown’s Calvin Lachman has been a beast all season.   He carries a 34-4 record and is looking for Hershey hardware. 

285:  CB East Patriot Joe Collins is highly regarded at heavyweight, and he looks to earn a berth to the Giant Center this season with his 28-2 record.  North Penn’s Devon Pickett is his biggest threat at 18-8. 

Team Title Outlook:  This East Section of District One is extremely talented, and it will be difficult to pick a winner this week, and definitely next week, as the three top-contending teams at the SE Regional are in this tournament.  This team title will be decided by the wrestle-backs and number of qualifiers. Look for Quakertown to take the most individual weight-class titles.  CR South always rises to the occasion at District events, and Pennridge looks to win a D1 Section team title to go along with their 2023 D1 Team Championship.  No predictions here, I don’t want to be a wanted man at regionals…

D1 SOUTH @ Interboro (SOL wrestlers highlighted)

107-pounds:  Jake Evans (Upper Dublin/24-2) will have to up his game to advance deep in to the postseason, as UD’s schedule was not as difficult as others here.  Cheltenham’s Connor Stegeman (18-6) has a chance to advance as well.

114:  Hatboro-Horsham’s Ryan Allgeier (24-11) looks to return to the SE Regional in a stacked weight class.  UD’s Zach Gallagher (23-9) joins Allgeier here as a contender.  Cole McFarland (Haverford/18-4) was fifth a year ago in Hershey and Ridley’s Curtis Nelson (27-2) will battle in the finals here.  Nelson was a state qualifier in 2022.

121:  Hopefuls include:  Freshman Benny Staub (H-H/20-14), UD’s Caden Cerminaro is 20-7 and Rah’Miere Sanders (Cheltenham/27-6).

127:  The Chelts’ Maxim Borisov has 17 wins but may be out of his class here.

133:  Plymouth-Whitemarsh’s Ashton Wittenberg (26-2) has had a fabulous senior season and will look to make the trip to Hershey.  H-H’s Aiden Morrison (15-8) is dangerous and has come into form after an early season injury.  UD’s C.J. Ambrose (20-8) is also a threat.

139:  H-H’s Chris Staub (27-7) has had a great season and is primed for a run to Hershey.  It’s Upper Dublin’s Dan Gorman (28-4) looking at his last chance to advance to states, he is a two-time regional qualifier.  Staub and Gorman will be challenged by Ridley’s Chris Nesbitt (26-2).

145:  P-W’s Mohammed Charabi (22-9) should advance, along with H-H’s Orion Newell (19-15) who will contend for a spot at Souderton.

152:  UD’s Austin Pendleton (29-3) and P-W’s Ty Borkowski (26-5) are two to watch here.

160:  UD’s Tommy Clayton (24-7) is looking to advance in his senior year. Arthur Gordon (Cheltenham/18-13) has an outside chance to advance.  Joey Palmeri (H-H/18-12) is rugged, and with a good tourney can make it to the next level.

172:  P-W’s Justin Bainbridge (25-6) should advance along with Wissahickon’s Nathanael Chez (22-8).  UD’s Gavin Rockney is solid at 22-8.  Cheltenham has Corey Bradley here at 28-5 in a wide-open weight-class.

189:  Cheltenham’s Qadir Hayward (18-6) will need to be spot on to advance here. 

215:  Wissahickon’s Tyler Prince (23-6) is wrestling well at the right time and should advance.  H-H’s Andy Alameda-Guzman has had good competition this season and stands at 17-12 with a good opportunity to move on to regionals.

285:  Cheltenham’s Kurt Scheuerman (21-9) is in a weight class here with one of the top-ranked big men in all of the PIAA, Strath Haven’s Ben Farabaugh.  P-W’s Donald Kunf has wrestled well at 17-11 and can get out.

Team Title Outlook:  This one is another tough call, as the competitions of these teams is inconsistent to say the least.  H-H may have one of the more difficult schedules of the SOL teams entered here, Central League and Del Val teams rarely travel out of their comfort-zones, especially on the main line.  UD, P-W and H-H will get their points, but Strath Haven is the favorite here with more star power.

D1 NORTH @ Perkiomen Valley (Souderton Only)

Souderton, oddly enough, is the only SOL team competing in the North, here are some hopefuls in a rugged Section that features powerful PAC teams with high-level talent.

121-pounds:  Charlie Arobone (24-10) is a contender, as he was fourth here a year ago.

127:  A.J. Stayton (26-5) should be in the mix.

172:  Ben Beckett is only 8-3 on the season but is right there with the best in this weight class.

189:  Cole Lester (27-6) has had a great season against solid competition.

Team Title Outlook:  Another tough one to call with individual talent abound throughout each weight class.  Spring-Ford was the best dual team in the PAC, however Owen J Roberts, Boyertown and Perk Valley have star-power to match.  Conestoga and Radnor from the Central League will also have some wrestlers looking to shine.  Slight edge here is to OJR to win the title with multiple champs and bonus points.

NOTE:  There will be some movement amongst weight classes throughout D1 in the postseason, brackets will be finalized Thursday evening.